The Valley Girls First Lego League (FLL) robotics team took First Place at the Southern California Championship at LEGOLAND on December 2. The team is made up of seven 8th graders, girls and boys, from Valley and Aviara Oaks Middle School. These
students —Josie, Katelyn, Raina, Aimee, Emma, Kian, and Nathan— will advance to the World Festival in Houston, Texas, in April. The students won a large trophy, made out of Legos, that will be displayed for one year at Carlsbad Unified’s District Office. FLL encourages students to get excited about careers in science and engineering. Teams take on a project in which they create a solution to a real-world problem. They also design and build a robot, and compete with other teams in a Robot Game. In addition, they learn First Lego League Core Values, including teamwork, friendly competition, and learning together. “Some of our team members read a National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) article about an algae bloom in Lake Erie,” explained team member Katelyn. “We learned that algae blooms are dangerous to humans, plants, and animals. The blooms are caused by phosphates in irrigation ditches. We wanted to find a way to prevent phosphates from getting into farmers’ irrigation systems.” “Our project is the Phospho Roller,” explained team member Nathan.“It is an inexpensive steel cylinder that is placed in agricultural runoff drains. Iron oxide sticks to the phosphate so it can’t get into the farmer’s irrigation drains.” Carlsbad Robotics teams benefit from the support of local businesses and professionals. Engineers at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Carlsbad are mentoring the team members on how to patent their idea. The manager of the Monserate Vineyard and Winery in Fallbrook has expressed interest in integrating this idea into the vineyard’s drainage system. The team began by meeting twice a week, but then met every day as it moved closer to the competition. “As they spent more time together, the students learned how to become a cohesive team that was able to succeed,” said volunteer coach Kirk Lewis. “They took what they learned, and shared their experiences with younger teams by mentoring and coaching them.” “Our team’s favorite core value is ‘We share our experiences with others,’” said Katelyn. “We have coached and mentored 40 teams from 9 local schools. We are so happy to represent this wonderful program in Carlsbad.” Mary Krescanko is the Carlsbad Educational Foundation’s Robotics Coordinator for First Lego League and serves as head coach for 24 teams. “The CEF is pleased to support FLL teams at Carlsbad Unified,” said Michelle Ginn, CEO of the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. “These hands-on experiences encourage all students, especially girls, to learn to think like scientists and to consider careers in the
STEM fields.” The Valley Girl team members say, “We are grateful to Ms. Krescanko and all of our coaches for helping us get to the finals, to our parents for feeding us, and especially, to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) for funding this program.”
Peak Pediatric Dentistry in Carlsbad are extremely proud of our Carlsbad students! Who know, maybe robotic dentistry is the future.
Published by the Carlsbad Business Journal, written by Dr. Ben Churchill, Carlsbad School Superintendent